Makarena repays the faith of Team Hawkes in $500,000 Tapp-Craig

Lightly raced filly Makarena has successfully made the giant leap from winning a midweek maiden to taking out the $500,000 Tapp-Craig at just her third start.

Trained by John, Wayne and Michael Hawkes and raced by their wives, Makarena ($4.40) vindicated the belief of her trainers, sitting handy to the speed before hitting the front early in the straight and holding on to score by three-quarters of a length.

Razors ($26) grabbed second, a long head in front of Snapback ($7) with $2.15 Dabble favourite Encap finishing fifth in a performance his jockey Brett Prebble described as “a bit dour”.

“He could have come to the end,” Prebble said.

There were no such issues for Makarena, who was making her Saturday grade debut after finishing an unlucky second at her first start before overcoming a tough run to win her second, both in midweek company.

Co-trainer Michael Hawkes said the stable had long held the daughter of Snitzel in high regard and her victory was only enhanced by the fact the filly was a family affair.

“She’s just a star. I’m talking from a trainer’s point of view but when you own it, it’s probably that little bit more special,” Hawkes said.

“They’re all here – obviously my wife Claire, my mother Jenny and Wayne’s wife Jane. We loved her at the sales and she’s done nothing really wrong today, she’s still learning.

“The sky’s the limit really.”

Hawkes said the filly could have another start in the Callander-Presnell (1600m) in a fortnight but whatever she did this campaign, he was most excited for next year.

“She’s in the Callander-Presnell, it’s a mile,” he said.

“I think we’re going to see her best in the autumn.”

Fillies have now won the only two renewals of the Tapp-Craig (1400m) with Opal Ridge, also ridden by Makarena’s jockey Tyler Schiller, taking out the inaugural edition.

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